Tourism creates opportunities, but also challenges

Griffith Institute for Tourism offer services and innovative solutions to help businesses, destinations and communities understand and plan for a sustainable tourism future.

We specialise in consultancy to all levels of the tourism industry.  Our extensive skills and expertise are founded in practically focused research from management and utilisation of big data to future planning of sustainable practice in the light of climate change.

Extensive networking within the industry and with regulators and policy makers ensures that our research and advice are timely and relevant in the rapidly evolving tourism sector, giving due weight to the economic, social and environmental impacts, both positive and negative, that successful and sustainable projects must take into account.

Services we offer

Tourism Planning

We bring together researchers and consultants who work with tourism planning organisations to deliver Master Plans or other more specific tourism policy, in particular in relation to sustainable tourism. Our researchers understand the need to assess policies and have the appropriate skills to undertake robust evaluations. Our consultants are seeking to understand the full depth of challenges and opportunities at a tourist destination to avoid ‘easy fixes’ that result in sub-optimal long term benefits. Key researchers include Professor Susanne Becken and Associate Professor Karine Dupre

Economic modelling

Economic modelling is an art that requires a passion to deduce essential solutions to complex reality. Our modelling team is dedicated to bridging the gaps between the complex world we face and the decisions we make, for a better future. Challenging problems entail proper tools to understand the past behaviours, inform today’s decisions and predict tomorrow. We can cater for all, with our modelling experiences across all fields in econometrics, forecasting and the computable general equilibrium modelling technique. Key researcher is Associate Professor Tien Pham.

Data mining

Researchers at the Institute has access to a range of national and international databases that enable them to integrate large data and extract tourism-specific intelligence. Researchers draw additional expertise from the Big Data laboratory at Griffith University. We have advanced skills in various types of statistical analysis and modelling, always pushing the boundaries to bring latest scientific understanding into tailored analytics. Key researcher is Associate Professor Tien Pham.

Market Research

Working closely with a range of tourism organisations, The Institute is known to deliver independent and robust market research on consumer trends, travel motivations and service expectations. Methods used include surveys, interviews and focus groups, but also more innovative approaches such as eye tracking, biophysical responses to stimuli and social media mining. Our researchers do not take mainstream trends as a given but aspire to deliver more sophisticated insights specific to the context of each client. Key researcher is Dr Sarah Gardiner.

Risk and vulnerability assessment

Our researchers have experience in undertaking vulnerability assessments of tourism communities in Asia Pacific, in particular related to natural hazards and climate change impacts. Building on two decades of research and a deep understanding of how tourism links with other sectors and the environment, our researchers can help businesses and destinations future proof their operations. Key researcher is Professor Susanne Becken.


The Institute provides a range of services, including practical and research-based training for industry professionals in Australia and overseas. Training programs can be tailored to particular needs, drawing upon the world-class expertise of tourism academics, finance, economic modelling, tourism satellite accounts, town planning, information technology and other areas. Training courses build on our extensive teaching, applied research and practical industry experience.

Bespoke advice

We have worked successfully with small tourism operators to develop innovative products, especially for emerging markets from China. Several innovative research approaches are used, including action research, participatory approaches and various qualitative techniques. Key researcher is Dr Sarah Gardiner.

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Past industry projects

State Tourism satellite account

Associate Professor Tien Pham has been instrumental in developing the State Tourism Satellite Accounts. He recently assisted TRA in updating the State TSA model.

“The State Tourism Satellite Accounts show the importance of tourism to the economy for each of Australia’s states and territories, presenting key data on consumption, employment and economic activity during 2018–19. They provide an accurate reflection of the tourism industry during a more typical economic environment, before COVID-19 and Australia’s 2019–20 summer bushfires.” (TRA, 2020).

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Economic impact of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (2018)

The Queensland Government and the Office of the Commonwealth Games (OCG) commissioned Griffith University to assess the economic and employment legacy benefits of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018). Dr Tien Pham and project team utilises a Tourism Computable General Equilibrium (CGE).

GC2018 was a major sporting and cultural event for the city, and attracted a large number of visitors from across the globe. The tourism effect contributed significantly to the overall economic success of the Games.

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climate change toolkit

The World Economic Forum has identified climate change as one of the major global risks facing the future of our planet. Future mitigation and adaption strategies need to be developed at a destination wide level to address extreme weather events, the depletion of natural resources and the transition towards a decarbonised economy.

Griffith Institute for Tourism together with Earthcheck have developed the ClimateCheck Toolkit to provide a practical resource to help destinations both gain an understanding of their readiness to address climate change and the action that can be undertaken to help their industry to respond to climate risks and opportunities.

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Contact the Griffith Institute for Tourism